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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 07/ 8/2009

Would You Censor This Cartoon?

By The Reliable Source

The a.m. roundup of today's toons, from the verbose to the verboten...

'CANDORVILLE' (WPWG)r="0">Enlarge Image

Now boarding for Controversy City.

Some of Darrin Bell's best "Candorville" strips, in my humble opining, come when the spectre of a freshly dead celebrity pays a visit, whether it be a George Carlin or -- as is the case this week -- the King of Pop-ularity himself, Mr. Jackson.

One thing I enjoy about these storylines is how Lemont wrestles with the entertainer's legacy -- such as with today's (above). The writing crackles with curiosity -- and genuine commentary. But there's one caveat: What distinguishes these strips as vivid can also render them verboten. Case in point: The Jacko Train of thought.

Earlier this week, "Candorville" intended to joke about, well, pedophilia. Editorially toxic, right? Thing is, the joke was really on Jackson, and his own insane decision-making even after his first child-molest case. And because Bell is dealing with Jackson's demons so genuinely, so forthrightly, he makes it clear: Context is king here.

Ultimately, though, the topic proved too toxic as a "gag" and Bell's syndicate, Washington Post Writers Group, asked him to go in a different direction. But this is fertile fodder for debate: Would YOU kill this particular strip?

To see the original cartoon (and to read about Bell's explanation), you can go to his "Candorville" blog entry here. And once you look at the original, you're invited to vote on the Official 'Riffs Question o' Controversy:
If you were the editor, would you refuse to run the cartoon strip that was censored?


The Art of the Pun: Don't Try This at Home



BEST AND WORST PUNNING OF THE DAY: There's a right way and a wrong way to practice punnery. Today, "Rhymes With Orange" is a most skillful practioner -- downright surgical in its economical precision. "Frank and Ernest," on the other hand, is a shameless quack. The only consolation: The quack's co-pay might be as cheap as this joke.


'DILBERT' (UFS)Enlarge Image

LAUGHING GAS: "Dilbert" and "Sherman's" are toiling in such similar south-of-the-waist terrain today that I'd almost prefer to see them combine the gags. The Sherman Tank of tiny bubbles meets Dilbert's Rear Guard. Because the mashup might even be funnier.

'SPIDER-MAN' (KFS)Enlarge Image

NO HUGH JACKMAN, THIS ONE: Could the strip make Wolvie any more backward? Forget theater -- get him a gig on Howard Stern.

By The Reliable Source  | July 8, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Al Franken Clustertoon: Because Doggone It, People Like Them!
Next: Does 'Frazz' Have Zazz? It's Time to Defend That Toon


We need a 3rd poll choice ~ it should play as written because it's clever and funny, and follows the C'ville "what?" "what?" tagline.

Actually, movies (see: Clue) sometimes have "alternate endings". BOTH strips were good.

Also, today's Arlo & Janis is GREAT.

Posted by: filfeit | July 8, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of censoring, where is today's Frazz. The one on the Kids Post page looks like a re-run from last week.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 8, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I didn't find the Candorville strip offensive at all. I did wonder about using a Metro-looking "M" on the train that was, um, off the tracks...

Posted by: marybindc | July 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

On punning: While 'Rhymes with Orange' was pretty clever (took me a minute to get it), so is today's 'Frank & Ernest'. It is the comic strip equivalent of a shaggy dog story, a short story whose sole purpose is to end in an elaborate pun. No shame or quackery here!

Posted by: Paul729 | July 8, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It seems that the Kids Post is quite confused with how to run Frazz. Sometimes they run the current strip and sometimes they try to catch up with ones that they skipped over due too not publishing it Friday and Saturday. I think they need to come up with an alternate plan so they can keep it up to date.

Posted by: nottenst | July 8, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I didn't really see anything offensive in any of the strips. But, there are significant portions of the Media going to extaordinary lengths to downplay Jackson's darker side.

Posted by: kcghost | July 8, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Candorgville shoudl be censored, alot. I found it offensive.
Rhymes with Orange is perfect, absolutely.

Posted by: ZeldaJane | July 8, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I see no problem with the censored strip; it strikes me as being in the same vein as the cartoon posted a few days ago in this space portraying the Devil asking St. Peter "shall we flip?" as he holds a paper with a headline announcing Jackson's death. Both remind us that Jackson's legacy is mixed, without taking sides.

Posted by: nvanative | July 8, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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